Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Green Action: Finally a Proposal for Fairer Bills and Waste Collection Services

ZAGREB, 15 Feb 2022 - The Green Action NGO on Tuesday welcomed the decision by Zagreb City authorities regarding waste collection, saying this was a big step in the right direction enabling fairer bills, more recycling and less waste delivered to the city's Jakuševac landfill.

"Finally fairer bills and a better waste collection service in Zagreb," the environmental protection NGO, which was once led by the incumbent Mayor Tomislav Tomašević, said in a press release.

The proposed decision brings a new model of waste collection under which bins will have locks so they cannot be accessed by third persons.

"We consider this to be a good move which we have advocated for years because better supervision will enable fairer waste separation so the percentage of recycling will be greater. This has been proved successful in many cities across the EU such as Ljubljana, which has been dubbed the European capital of cleanliness," the NGO said.

As far as billing is concerned, the proposal introduces partial payment based on the quantity of waste and the more citizens separate waste the lower their bills will be.

That is certainly a much fairer way to charge for waste collection than the current system of charging per square metre and the number of household members.

One of the challenges of the proposed model is supervising the use of official bin bags and identifying and penalising irresponsible citizens.

"That will require stepping up municipal inspections and introducing additional reward models...We also expect our proposal for bags for mixed waste to be replaced with appropriate smaller containers and waste meters, to be adopted soon," the NGO said.

Saturday, 5 February 2022

Environmental Awareness Event Held in Split

ZAGREB, 5 Feb 2022 - An event organised by the Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry to advocate a change of habits and encourage the reduction of humans' harmful impact on climate, nature and the environment, took place in Split's Prokurative Square on Saturday.

Local artisans - shoemakers, tailors, watchmakers, opticians, repairers of household appliances, locksmiths, knife grinders and others made minor repairs free of charge to objects brought by citizens.

The event, attended by Minister Tomislav Ćorić and Mayor Ivica Puljak, is part of the ministry's campaign #ZaZeleniSvakiDan, which has been going on since 2021 and which aims to show citizens that changing one's daily habits and reusing objects helps to preserve nature and have more available resources for future generations.

Ćorić and his associates also visited the city's open-air farmers' market, where they distributed to citizens bags made of recycled plastic and cloth bags.

The minister underlined that there was a growing awareness among citizens of the need to sort and recycle waste and avoid behaviour that causes environmental pollution.

Mayor Puljak said that the city administration would help local artisans with subsidies.

The head of the city association of artisans, Vilim Bujević, said that there were 4,500 craftspeople in Split, expressing hope the city authorities would support them.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Greens Raise Voice Against Planned Waste Incinerator in Sisak

ZAGREB, 31 Aug, 2021 - The Green Action and the "Sisak isn't a waste disposal site" civil initiative have called on the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development to discard the plan to build a waste and residual sludge incinerator in Sisak, which is a seismologically active area.

The NGOs said that citizens had stood in defence of public interest in Zagreb and Konjščina when they stopped the construction of a waste incinerator there and that they will do the same for Sisak.

They are disgruntled because an environmental impact study justifying the construction of the incinerator in Sisak was put up for public debate from 2 to 31 August, a period of summer holidays.

They warned that waste from all over Croatia would be brought to the incinerator in Sisak that will have a capacity of 100,000 tonnes of waste and 50,000 tonnes of residual sludge, and it could have unforeseeable economic, ecological and health hazards.

They further pointed out that Croatia was turning to outdated solutions while the EU's Green Deal stimulates refraining from incinerators and encourages the use of sustainable solutions to use waste as a secondary crude material for industrial production.

Incineration would pose a potential threat to the environment and health of Sisak's residents because the environmental impact study ignored the fact that fires have erupted at waste incinerators throughout the EU as have excessive levels of hazardous gas emissions.

"The incinerator must not be an alternative for waste as a consequence of the failed attempt with waste management centres. It is necessary to change the way combined waste is managed and follow the principles of circular economy that treats waste as a resource and not as rubbish transformed into toxic waste," the NGOs said.

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Thursday, 1 July 2021

Green Action: Croatia Should Be More Determined in Combating Plastic Pollution

ZAGREB, 1 July 2021 - The Green Action NGO on Thursday called on the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development to adopt ambitious measures as part of the new waste management bill and set the right example in combating plastic pollution.

"Croatia can be a leader among EU member states in abandoning single-use plastics and the waste culture. Now we finally have a chance to start promoting a reuse system as a solution to single-use plastic pollution," Green Action's Ana-Marija Mileusnić said as part of the "Plastic-Free July" campaign.

She said that the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development was "very inert and passive" in drawing up the new waste management bill.

"Despite repeated calls for action, we are still late in meeting the initial deadlines, which will not bring about any major change other than banning the marketing of certain products," Mileusnić said.

The Single-Use Plastic Directive says that replacement of single-use plastic products with other disposable products should be prevented, so specific provisions should be laid down to promote the development of a reuse system, she added.

In order for the system to be effective, economic incentives supporting reuse should be provided, such as taxation and effective differences in fees for multiple-use packaging. "In addition to policy- and decision-makers, we also need the support of the public at large because it is people that make the system, and already now they can contribute to positive change," Mileusnić said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Friday, 5 March 2021

Green Action and Green Istria's Lawsuit Over Plomin 1 Environmental Permit Rejected

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - The Administrative Court in Rijeka issued a non-final verdict and rejected the claim of the Green Action and Green Istria associations, which sought to revoke the environmental permit for the coal-fired Plomin 1 thermal power plant issued by the Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry.

As the court reported, when announcing the verdict, which can be appealed against to the High Administrative Court, it was said that the administrative dispute did not decide whether the planned operation of Plomin 1 was inconsistent with the strategies and plans of the HEP power company and the Croatian government.

According to the explanation, those issues are not subject to consideration when determining the conditions for issuing an environmental permit. The court determined that the decision was made in accordance with the relevant regulations on the issuance of environmental permits for existing plants. It also established that the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development correctly and fully established the decisive facts in the administrative procedure, with valid application of substantive law.

Bernard Ivčić of the Green Action said on Friday that the associations would, after receiving the explanation of the verdict, consider the possibilities and probably file an appeal.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Split 'Green Guerrilla' Planting Trees Illegally in Croatian Park Marjan

While most Split residents are asleep, members of the secret Split-based Green Guerilla direct action group covertly roam Marjan Forest Park with seedlings in hand, planting trees to help the city’s lungs breathe. They claim that everything they do is in collaboration with top forestry experts.

In addition to the Aleppo pine, they plant oak and cypress. However, they do not want to reveal how many trees they have planted so far and where, according to Ivana Perkovic/Dalmacija Danas on January 6, 2020.

The Split based group call themselves Green Guerrilla and their activities, although illegal, have met with widespread public approval. Nevertheless, some have wondered if these people might have better things they could be doing. Here's what they have to say:

To begin with: Split residents are interested in knowing; who are you and why did you organize?

We are a group of Marjan fans from Split who are tired of watching the destruction of life going on in the park. We have had enough of pillaging by the political elite, in which green spaces and trees in Marjan are being transformed into timber and are becoming prey to political calculation.

Some have wondered if you might have better things to do with your lives. Why did you begin planting right now?

For too long, those in charge have been saying that the afforestation process is set to begin. But they stand around with their hands in their pockets and prolong this process and pace it with campaigns for upcoming local elections. We’ve waited long enough, and it is a shame that the fate of Marjan is being decided by people who are calling the survival of vegetation into question. After a couple of years of delays, the forest has not been rehabilitated according to the agreed-upon method, and chopping down thousands of healthy trees cannot be called remediation. The real word that describes what has happened in Marjan is ‘criminal.’

Do you have experience in planting? What you say about statements by Damir Grubšić (JUPŠM/Public Institute for Marjan Forest Management) that you are doing more harm than good?

We are doing everything according to instructions from top forestry experts who wish to remain anonymous because they fear for their jobs. We would love to hear about what a shame it is to plant an oak, pine or cypress in the forest. If he is looking for pests in Marjan, he should first look at his current assistant and former director, Robert Koharević, and then at some other anomalies in the Public Institute. The real Marjan pests are those who illegally paved green areas and those who allowed them to are going unpunished while they remain in the city administration and Public Institute.

Are you afraid of being caught?

If one of us is caught, we will stand as one in solidarity and demand to be punished together. But we will also seek sanctions for those who have illegally harvested more than 20,000 Marjan trees, as determined by the State Forestry Inspectorate, and sanctions for those who have looked after Marjan in this manner.


Green Guerrilla | Facebook

Are you planning to plant trees in large areas or just a symbolic number? How many trees have you planted so far?

That will remain our secret.

Will you respond to Mirko Rušić's invitation to plant trees when he officially begins the afforestation project?

We will not, because we do not want to work with a person who is unskilled, uneducated and unqualified to perform forestry work and, above all, a person who participated in the illegal felling of more than 20,000 Marjan trees.

We will only respond to an invitation to plant trees from an authorized forester. That person must stand up for afforestation, put his name behind it, and be responsible for all forestry efforts spanning the entire Marjan Forest Park protected area, which has already been slated for afforestation by the spatial plan and management program. Well, Marjan has been without a major forestry planning document for a year now. Should we be expecting an invite from someone who we can thank for putting Marjan in this situation?

You say that you are doing this "in defiance of those who would build and not plant on Marjan." Do you think that they are really trying to destroy the forest so that apartments and hotels will pop up on Marjan?

It’s not a matter of that we think. Parts of Marjan Forest Park have already been irreversibly destroyed by the unplanned and illegal construction of hotels and apartments, and now there are plans to build new cafes. Recent changes to spatial plans have been announced and who knows what else is happening in Kašuni, Kaštelet and Prva voda.

It has been officially confirmed that 75 buildings have been illegally built in this protected area, part of which is being used for apartments. There won’t be any peace while there are construction sites in the park forest, illegal construction continues, and the commercialization of Marjan is put ahead of its protection in the minds of those responsible.

How would you respond if someone started to harvest the trees you planted?

Trees cannot harm anyone, so destroying them would mean that they want war with well-meaning Split residents. If they want war with residents, they will have one, and a bigger tree will replace every tree that is removed. We will also make sure that the news of this behavior is spread beyond Croatia’s borders. This is at a critical time when the whole world is working on afforestation due to climate change, which has occurred due to the destruction of forests.


After the Aleppo pine, it was time to plant an indigenous oak and there was also a spot for a cypress. In view of yesterday's news story RTL Danas, we would like to address the statements of Mirko Rušić, President of the Marjan Commission, Deputy Coordinator of the Crisis Staff, and President of the Governing Board of JUPŠ Marjan:

Green Guerrilla documents several potential sites prior to planting, and then, in communication with forestry experts, selects planting sites for species proposed by the foresters themselves. Green Guerrilla, unlike the Marjan Commission and the Crisis Staff who have been left without professionals, has foresters who are happy to tell us what, where, how and when.

Increased patrols by the JUPŠ Marjan rangers are welcome. Perhaps they will now notice the illegal construction, pyromaniacs and other problems in Marjan, which have passed under their radar so far. The trees will continue to sprout either by our own hands or naturally, and no one can claim that any new tree is not part of a plan or program because we’ll remind them of the management program and afforestation plan.

It is a shameful for the team, held responsible by the State Forestry Inspectorate for devastating this forest, to deliberately delay the afforestation process as an election campaign nears. Greetings from the Green Guerrilla. While you p*** we will continue to plant. If you love Marjan get rid of the f****** construction sites in Marjan Forest Park rather than condemning and trying to find us.

Check out our Lifestyle page for more information on efforts (legal and illegal) to protect the environment in Croatia. Updates on Green Guerrilla's activites can be found here.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Green Activists against Awarding New Gas and Oil Exploration Concessions

ZAGREB, July 16, 2019 - Activists of the non-parliamentary party called Green Action on Tuesday held a performance in Zagreb's main square to warn that the government plans to issue licences for gas and oil exploration in new locations.

The activists warned that 75% of Croatia's territory might fall under gas and oil exploration concessions and they branded Environment Protection and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić "as a minister of fossil fuels".

They demanded his resignation due to the government's plan to award gas and oil exploration concessions for 16 new sites stretching from eastern Croatia through the Zagreb and Lika-Senj Counties to Dalmatia.

They said that some of the areas covered by concessions are protected areas under the Natura 2000 project.

More news about environmental protection in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Croatian Green Action Reacts to Proposed Concession Act

Green Action wants to ensure Croatian waters don't end up in private hands